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When Flu Hits the Family Vacation

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family vacation hit by flu iStockphoto/Thinkstock

There is never a good time to be sick, especially when you are a parent.

But the pressure really begins to build when you have just spent more that a week nursing your kids back to good health and you are less than a week away from a family vacation.

As I carefully laid out a week’s worth of clothes for four people, I kept an eye on my second child that got sick and tried to keep the other two quiet and out of his way.

The kids had already been forced to stay indoors for a week when my first son caught the flu.

It was a week of fever, fatigue and creative ideas to keep the two healthy kids from becoming bored and wild inside the house.

I was relieved when my son started feeling better. Relieved, that is, until another child began to burn up with a fever.

And there was more bad news.

One day after my second child came down with the coughing flu, it hit me. For four days, my skin burned and my muscles ached.

It was all that I could do to take care of the my youngest son, make sure the other two stayed fed, and shuffle around the house with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, trying to ease the chills running through my body.

I moved very little those next five days and ate nothing.

The boys were forced to be independent. They watched a lot of television and played the Wii for hours.

As I shivered under the covers in my bed, my head pounded, my body ached, and my teeth chattered.

I could hear the boys laughing and playing in the next room and I wanted to cry. I did not know how easy I had it when I was sick before I had kids.

Since we were scheduled to be on vacation, my husband was swamped at work. There would be no days that he could take off.

When he would get home in the evening, I could finally retreat to my bedroom. The responsibility of packing was also falling on his shoulders.

The beach house we had booked was non-refundable. I prayed that I would feel well enough to go so we didn’t waste all the money on the trip that I had so carefully planned.

The night before we were scheduled to leave, my fever spiked to 102.4.

I couldn’t sleep. I was miserable.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.